Don’t be one of those brands that aren’t really who they “post” to be.

So, surprise…working and trying to be a blogger – well a bit more challenging than I honestly thought it would be. Why? Well, I have a demanding job. But I won’t use that as an excuse. I will prioritize or at least try.

Anyway, this week, for some reason, social media as a topic really stuck with me. Even though social media is not a part of what I do in my daily job, I do think it has become a very vital part in a lot of companies strategic planning. Now, I personally am not a fan of using social media for business, but I do see how it can assist with brand awareness and generating buzz and engagement. I will be honest, social media has become a strong platform for companies and brand to express themselves.

“Don’t use social media to impress people, use it to impact people” – Dave Willis

I tend to agree with Dave Willis. When you use social media platforms for your company, you need to use it in such a way that your content makes an impact. I think most of the time companies just dive into social media without any real planning because every other brand is doing it. Publishing images, videos, and info-graphics, hoping that it would encourage engagement with fans and followers and ultimately holding thumbs that they would end up interacting with the brand or at least take some sort of an action. No, I don’t think it will work like that – you can have thousands of followers but what are you trying to achieve by using social media? I mean, what is your end goal?

“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.” – Anonymous

Your content needs a strategy – it needs to be link to an end goal. Your brand needs to stand out somehow, right? You have to leave an impression or encourage engagement, otherwise you are just another picture or video on somebody’s Facebook newsfeed…

For social media to work for your brand, you need to change your communication style…you are not a person, you are a brand, so start to create a social network. This simply means that you create a platform and content that encourage followers to talk and for you as a brand to listen to what they have to say. Don’t just post about your brand and toot your own horn – take the time to listen and engage with others. Show your followers that your brand has a broader interest, an interest that goes beyond itself, like what goes on in its community. Show your followers you are aware of the issues, struggles and how you as a brand can help make a difference.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what the customers tell each other it is” – Scott Cook

Social media is like dating. It is time consuming and it takes a lot of work and effort to really make it work. But with the right content and the right strategy in play, it can be worth it in the end. Just remember, social media is not all about posting pretty pictures and getting as many likes as possible. You as a brand on social media need to show your followers what you stand for, what you support and how you as a brand can make a difference. That will spark interest in your brand and it will generate engagement. Perhaps not always online, but people talk among each other.

Moral of the story, a good social media strategy takes time and effort. So don’t rush your content and don’t focus so much on the “how many likes per post” and “how many followers your have”. Rather focus on the value of the content you post. It is always a good idea to go back to the roots of your brand, the heritage, its values and the impact can have on its surrounding community. Show your followers the bigger picture. If it helps, put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and think about what you would like to see from and read about your brand.

“Maybe don’t call it social media. Just be human and tell your story.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

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